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HK labor secretary warns ill-treating sick FDHs could become diplomatic issue

06 March 2022


Secretary Law inspects the isolation facility at Kai Tak

Hong Kong’s labor secretary today warned local employers who terminate foreign domestic helpers or kick them out of the house after testing positive for Covid-19, that their illegal behavior will have long-lasting effects not just on themselves but on the rest of society.

 “Any abuse of FDHs or unlawful and unreasonable dismissal of FDHs by a small number of employers seen recently will damage Hong Kong's FDH policy and Hong Kong's reputation,” said Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong.


Law made the statements in a blog entitled, “Be kind to foreign domestic helpers, respect yourself and others,” originally published in Chinese.

“Although the employers concerned may be prosecuted and criminally liable, they will not be allowed to employ foreign domestic helpers in the future. What’s more, all Hong Kong families who want to hire foreign domestic helpers in the future may be negatively affected, which will increase the difficulty of employment,’ he added.


News reports of ill-treatment of FDHs have also become “an issue of Hong Kong's external affairs,” he said.

“These reports certainly aroused the concern and dissatisfaction of the compatriots in the motherland of the foreign domestic workers, and their government naturally had to fulfill its responsibility to protect the citizens and speak out for them,” Law said.


That is why Law has written to Consul General General Raly Tejada to assure “that we will continue and closely follow up in any complaint or case relating to illegal dismissal of FDHs suffering from Covid-19.”

In that letter, Law reiterated “the SAR Government’s determination to protect the rights and interests of foreign domestic helpers and to try our best to provide assistance to them, so as to prevent the incident from turning into a diplomatic incident.”


This incudes those who contracted Covid-19 but have no place to stay because they have no employment contracts. 

"In spite of the acute shortage locally of isolation facilities during the current wave of outbreaks, we have managed to find accommodation for these FDHs in such facilities," he added.

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